The University of Michigan’s reopening hasn’t gone well, compelling the local government to step in and on Tuesday, local health officials instructed students at the University of Michigan to stay in their quarters, effective immediately, to control an escalating campus outbreak.
Cases and positivity test rates have recently spiked in Ann Arbor, which had essentially sidestepped the worst of the pandemic.
According to Jimena Loveluck, the health officer for Washtenaw Country, which encompasses Ann Arbor and the university said that since October 12, cases associated with the university have comprised 61 per cent of more than 600 confirmed and likely local infections.
University administration said in an emailed statement to students and staff members that most of the cases on the campus could be traced back to small and medium-size groups without proper face coverings and social distancing.
The stay in place order, which applies to all undergraduate students through November 3, has quite a few exceptions.
Students not displaying manifestations of COVID 19 can still attend in-person class, play varsity sports and get medical care. They can also access university dining service and exercise in pairs outdoors.
Health officials say those activities haven’t been problematic and that it was socialising without safeguards that’s fueled the outbreak and Emma Stein, 21, a senior news editor for The Michigan Daily, the student paper, said that during the day, on campus, everyone’s okay and following the rules, but at night and on weekends, they don’t.
Ms Loveluck said that even though the regulations don’t constitute a quarantine, the health department may start using fines for breaches and that was particularly significant in advance of October 31, which was shaping up to be a big party weekend to mark the season’s first home football game against rival Michigan State.
One student told The Detroit Free Press that they’ve needed this for a long time and that right now, they were the university who chose football over the safety and well being of not only the students but every single person who came into contact with them.
In Ann Arbor, students and faculty have criticised the university for its reopening plan, which didn’t include across-the-board testing for asymptomatic students and that other colleges have relied on extensive, compulsory testing to keep cases down, since asymptomatic people are often infectious.
And a few weeks ago, Ms Stein, the senior, drove to an urgent care centre in another town to get a routine test – she and her friends didn’t even think to go through the university health system, and she said that they wouldn’t have qualified so they just drove.
The amusing thing is, our children go to college and universities so that they can learn from other people’s experiences so that they don’t make the same mistakes that someone has already made, but what we learn is that our children are a complete afterthought in all of this, and it just demonstrates that the priority isn’t students, it’s bucks.
And the case demographic rages on. Mass testing to find new cases, but don’t worry about imparting harm to this children and the poor, and this is what happens when you follow Trump virus guidelines.